On Monday June 7, 2010 at the Women In Need, Inc. volunteer reception, Professional Women Photographers Outreach Program was honored as Volunteer Group of the Year. It was completely unexpected and lots of fun!
Women In Need is a wonderful organization that helps homeless families throughout the New York City area get back on their feet. Many of the women and children involved are victims of domestic violence. We have seen WIN‘s efforts first hand and they are amazing and inspiring. I am very proud to have been a very small part of the PWP’s Community Service Committee‘s work this year. Through their wonderful photographs and mentoring efforts, these women have truly made a difference in people’s lives.
The first mentoring event was an experience. In May the PWP Community Service Committee went to a WIN shelter and began by gathering the children and talking a little bit about elements of photography such as framing, motion, backgrounds and exposure. The children, who were very young, were polite and respectful, but a little quiet. I had come along to record the effort, and was a little worried. It seemed at first like it might not take.
But the minute we got out the door and cameras were handed out, the group was on fire. They took pictures of everything! Shadows on the street, people passing by, buildings, each other, anything and everything that struck their imagination. If you ever saw the movie about Helen Keller, The Miracle Worker, you remember the scene where Helen first makes the connection between language and things in the world. A door opens and she goes wild. She walks through and her life is changed forever. There was a little of that going on with the the kids and the cameras. They were totally engaged and enthusiastic. They helped each other. There was joy in the air, lots of it.